Thursday, 11 August 2016

“You only live once” : the life motto that causes a vicious cycle of depression and impulsiveness.

“You only live once” : the life motto that causes a vicious cycle of depression and impulsiveness.  

“You only live once” (YOLO) is a phrase that has become ever more popular in recent years, with many celebrities such as Zac Efron (who even has it tattooed on his hand) embracing the motto. It encourages you to live in the moment and engage in dangerous activities, for reason that you might not have the chance to do so in the future. The phrase might seem like an innocuous encouragement for your mate to have that extra tequila shot, or get that Tattoo. On the other hand it could encourage you to unprecausioly take part in hedonistic activities  resulting in a long-term vicious cycle of depression and impulsiveness.

It is well known now that anxiety and depression amongst young people is shockingly high and when people are anxious and depressed they are more likely to act impulsively. It is very difficult to think of the long-term when at that present moment you feel suicidally depressed and are looking for a way to cure or numb  that  feeling.

As a student, I decided to open a second bank account with a larger overdraft thinking to myself “yay free money”; failing to consider the future monthly reducing overdraft limit and how I would enjoy that so much.
I spent both my overdrafts in their entirety and due to this, I can now easily go over my overdraft and incur charges .  I am guilty of having used “YOLO” as an excuse to do so, for example  buying another drink, so that Magners that should've been £4.50 results in a £40 bank charge next month and therefore almost ten times the cost! Then this leads me to feel indignant at my impulsive decisions that are brought on due to depression.

In essence YOLO encourages you to make impulsive decisions, that may cause you to be happy in the present, but have negative long-term consequences. This in turn makes you depressed which then leads you to being impulsive. There is a never ending vicious circle.

There is also a strange paradox occurring as you use “YOLO” as an excuse for engaging in debauchery and hedonism that may result in living a shorter life for reason that you only live once.  Surely if you want to embrace that you only living once, you would want that experience to be as long as possible and not shortened by bad life-choices. For example being capitulated by peers to try heroin because you only live once then ending up in a life incarcerated by addiction and eventually overdosing. Another example would be an LGBT man attending“Chem-Sex” parties where drug taking and unprotected sex occurs leading to drug-addiction and STIs.

In conclusion “YOLO” is one of the most idiotic attitudes to have. All it is, is a guise to encourage your impulsive behaviour. If you are impulsive you need help or else the only life you live may be a short and unhappy one.


  1. Why waste your time writing such drivel?

    You only live once.

    (I just regret that I spent 7-8 minutes reading this)

  2. You really need to do some research or something. I have first hand experience with depression and anxiety and I can't see the wood for the trees, I over think everything even from tone of messages to how things are going to impact especially in the worse case scenarios. Honestly sometimes I would love to be able to adapt the YOLO train of thought but unfortunately for my depression low moods and anxiety I can't shake myself to adapt a positive lifestyle and attitude. Word to the wise research your subject next time and get facts and stats just opinions and try not to be so patronising.


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